London Micro Apartment Transformed Into a Cozy Home

In many cities across the globe, the shortage of affordable apartments has led to more and more people living in micro, or shoe-box apartments. London is one of the cities facing the worst of this housing shortage crisis, and the local architecture studio CIAO recently redesigned a tiny apartment into a spacious home, which is now big enough to host guests.

The apartment in question measures just 376 sq ft (35 sq m) and is located in a Victorian-era house in the Islington area. The apartment has high ceilings which is a plus when it comes to micro apartments. They kept the layout of the home open and with the help of clever convertible furniture they were able to transform this place into a comfortable home. The workspace which the client uses during the day can be transformed into a sleeping area for guests when needed with the help of a pull-out trundle bed. The lounge is also in this area, and features a corner sofa.

A half-height bookcase separates the main living area from the bedroom. The bed is placed atop a custom-built platform which hides the roll-out trundle guest bed. The platform is accessible via a couple of stairs which contain storage drawers. Higher up, in the mezzanine area there is another, larger storage space. The home also features a small, but functional bathroom.

The apartment also features a kitchen, which is fitted with lots of metallic COR-TEN steel that gives it an interesting industrial look. This look is nicely balanced by the warmer, natural wood elements elsewhere in the apartment, such as the table and shelving, as well as the brick wall in the living area which was left in it’s original condition.

This is definitely another prime example of how even a micro apartment can be transformed into a comfortable home with a few clever space saving techniques, and some outside the box thinking.

Traditional Design Techniques Make This Apartment a Lot More Spacious Than It Should Be

More and more people are opting to live in micro apartments in big cities across the world, mainly due to rising real estate prices and rents. The problem is that small spaces can very quickly begin to feel cramped, but with some clever design solutions even this challenge can be overcome. Which is exactly what the Australian designer Nicholas Gurney managed to do in the renovation of this tiny apartment.

The apartment measures a very modest 258 sq ft (24 sq m) yet it has been transformed into a cozy home for a newlywed couple. The designer succeeded to make it such by following a set of Japanese organizational principles known as the 5S. These are, “sort, straighten, shine, standardize and sustain” (seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke). This methodology was developed in Japan after World War Two to maximize efficiency in manufacturing, but has since been integrated into other areas like health care, education, and government as well. The first step in applying this method to the apartment design involved Gurney tasking the clients with creating a list of possessions that they could not live without, so that the space and storage areas in the apartment could be adapted to it.

The home is now fitted with custom-built cabinets, which are extra-deep, so the fact that they contain “stuff” is not apparent at first glance. The things contained within them are also stored according to different levels of priority, meaning that the important stuff is stored at the front, and the less important stuff at the back.

They kept the main area as open as possible, adding a table on wheels which can be placed where it’s needed, or rolled away under the kitchen counter to make more space. The kitchen consists of two areas, namely a wet and a dry one. The wet area features a sink that is tucked away out of sight. There is also a perforated screen door which separates the living room from the bedroom and which also supports the flatscreen TV. The screen can be rolled away so the couple can watch TV from either the bedroom or the living area. The bathroom is placed into a corner space in the apartment and separated from the rest of the space by a mirrored door, which effectively hides it and makes the space appear larger.

The governing principle that was applied to this design was “a place for everything and everything in its place”, and they succeeded. This is a great example of how much can be done with very tiny living spaces!

Former Office Reimagined as a Cozy Micro Apartment

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Living in a small space is not for everyone, especially when it comes to living in densely populated urban areas. With a towable tiny house, you can park it anywhere and have as much nature and space around it as you wish, but in an apartment you’re pretty much stuck where you are.

But the current state of the market is such that city dwellings are very expensive, and more and more people who do not want to move to the country are opting to live in micro apartments. When designing such spaces, maximizing the available space is of the utmost importance, and the Danish firm Studiomama did an awesome job in that regard with this former mini-cab office, which they turned into a cozy home.

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The space was bought at an auction and measures 139 sq ft (13 sq m). The designers then set out to turn it into an apartment with the aim of proving that with clever solutions even such a small space can become a comfortable home. The achieved this by installing seamless walls which hide the storage areas, and give the sense of spaciousness. They were inspired by boat design in coming up with this solution. They also placed mirrors along one of the walls, as well as in the kitchen, which further adds to the illusion of this being a larger space than it actually is. Since this apartment has so little floorspace they integrated all that was needed into the built-in furniture.

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The home features a dining nook with a built-in bench to sit on, while this bench can also be extended to increase the sitting space. The bench also has a footrest built into it, which can be stored away when not in use. The bed can also be folded away when not in use. The home also features a work area in the form of a standing desk, which has it’s own storage area. I suppose the dining table can be used if you wish to sit while working. The home also features a fully equipped kitchen and a bathroom, which is the only part of this home that is separated off from the rest of the apartment for privacy.

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Tiny Apartment Made More Spacious With a Clever Loft

Small apartments can quickly feel very cramped, but good design and some out of the box thinking can go a long way to fixing that. A great example of just how well is this Taipei, Taiwan apartment. Originally little more than a room, it was transformed into an open, cozy home for two by the firm A Lentil Design.

The apartment measures just 355 sq ft (33 sq m) and the first thing they took care of was knocking down some walls, to make it as open as possible. The next step was adding a loft, which houses the bedroom and really frees up the lower level space, while offering some privacy. The small apartment had two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a kitchen. They redesigned this by knocking down one of the bedroom’s walls to make a larger living room. The kitchen is located on one side of the living room, and is also an open space with an island that can be used as a dining space or a working area.

In the loft, the bed is placed atop a raised platform, which has drawers hidden underneath it for some extra storage. There is also enough room in the loft for a small sitting area, while the view of the surrounding cityscape is stunning. The loft is accessible via a staircase that serves a number of other functions as well. Apart from the usual storage space built into it, the staircase also serves as a separation between the entryway and the rest of the apartment. It also leads to a second loft which could be converted into a child’s bedroom if needed. For now, the occupants use it as a storage space. The bed itself rests atop an elevated platform and has drawers hidden underneath it for some extra storage. The apartment also features large windows, which let in plenty of natural light and make it appear much more spacious, while also aiding ventilation.

This is another great example of just how little is required to turn a tiny, cramped, old-style apartment into a cozy, modern home.

Quirky Renovation of a Micro Apartment

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When it comes to making tiny spaces more livable and comfortable, there have already been many clever solutions developed. But this apartment has some surprises in store. It was designed for photographer Brendan McInerney by Joseph Chiarucci of Fort Design Build, and it features an actual catwalk as a space saving feature. Dangerous? Maybe. But it’s also quite clever.

The apartment measures just 400 sq ft (37 sq m), so a lot had to be done with little. The apartment does have a very high ceiling, which made it easier. The designer placed the kitchen and living area on the “ground level” while the bedroom, bathroom and storage loft were placed over it. They also partitioned off the space, which yielded enough room for a large corner working desk for Brendan.

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The loft that is used for storage can either be reached via a staircase or a catwalk. Personally I would like to see a sturdy handrail along that thing, though Brendan doesn’t seem to have much trouble traversing it.
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The bedroom is located in a second loft, and is quite spacious. There is enough room for a large bed, as well as a second seating area. Storage drawers were placed under the bed to keep the place tidy. The bathroom is very small, yet still functional. It also features a window, which makes it appear a little larger.
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Another clever surprise is the hole in the wall where a vacuum hose is located. It’s a unique sort of central vacuum system, and Brendan just has to flick on a switch to clean up the entire apartment. Plus, the vacuum is hidden away out of sight behind the wall.

This apartment is a great example of how thinking outside the box can yield some interesting and functional designs, especially when it comes to tiny homes where every square foot of space matters.